Both of the UK's industry trade bodies have welcomed changes in this afternoon's budget as having a positive effect on the domestic games industry, both in terms of direct support and the provision of well-trained staff.
UKIE and TIGA's CEOs were both ebullient about the resurrection of a £4 million prototype fund and the £4 million skills investment fund, both of which should be of clear benefit. In combination with the existing tax breaks for the sector, it's felt that these two initiatives should provide even better conditions for the UK's developers to flourish.
"The measures announced today for the games sector will help make the UK the best place in the world to make and sell games," said UKIE's Jo Twist. "It's fantastic to see the Chancellor bring back the Prototype Fund, as Ukie called for in our letters to the Chancellor before the Autumn Statement as well as this year's Budget. It made a real difference in helping over 70 companies to get their first game made when it ran from 2010 to 2014. "This will have a real impact in maximising the effectiveness of Video Games Tax Relief, by giving more people with great ideas for games the chance to get established as a company, start building their portfolio, and make the best possible offer to potential investors. This will have a significant multiplier effect, which is why we have been calling so strongly for it. "We are also delighted to see this government keep up the support for skills development in the games industry that this government wisely put in place. We called for the extension of the Skills Investment Fund to support the increasing demand for skills as a result of more development in the UK, in our Manifesto and in our letters to the Chancellor."
TIGA Richard Wilson was similarly pleased, expressing his delight at the adoption of the measures by Chancellor George Osborn.
"TIGA applauds the new support promised by the Chancellor in the Budget for the UK video games sector. Following the achievement of Games Tax Relief, TIGA's top priority has been the achievement of a new Prototype Fund to enable start-up studios to access finance and develop playable prototypes. TIGA also called for the maintenance of the Skills Investment Fund, a measure that enables more studios to invest in skills, training and workforce development. "TIGA submitted seven key proposals in our Budget Submissions to the Government and we are thrilled that the Chancellor has supported two of them. This is a great day for the UK video games development and digital publishing sector." "TIGA will continue to advance our creative and dynamic agenda to strengthen the videogames development and digital publishing sector in the run up to the General Election in 2015 and beyond."
The 2015 budget was a relatively buoyant one for business, although the Office for Budget Responsibility expects it to have little material impact on the economy as a whole. Also, with an election looming, the coalition was unwilling to publicly commit to the details of cuts necessary to facilitate those boons which it did grant.
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